Remembering

Originally posted on Novermber 11, 2009, but I could never say it better.

***

Rememberance Day is a day to reflect and pay tribute to those who fought for our freedom.  To commemorate those who sacrificed themselves in times of war.  To remember those who died ensuring their children’s lives and their children’s children’s lives would be better.

To veterans of wars past – I thank you for what you did.

To those fighting now – I thank you for what you are doing.  Stay safe.  Come home soon.

***

This Remembrance Day, I choose to remember those who have passed in my life.  I have been lucky not to have lost many, but those I have have meant the world to me and I miss them all dearly.

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Grandpa

I remember your scruff – getting a kiss from you was like grinding my face with a cheese grater.  It was like you prepared for our visits by shaving the week before.

I remember your song.  I don’t know the name or whether you wrote it or not, but I remember your song.  I sing it to the girls.  It’s my favourite lullaby.

I remember you taking your dentures out to eat.  I remember thinking that it was the funniest, coolest thing ever to be able to remove your teeth at will.  I wish I could do that.

I got from you my short legs, strong nose, and fighting spirit.

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Papa

I remember the way you pronounced American cities incorrectly on purpose.  Hi-why-ee, De-troy-ett, Los Angel-eeze, Kiss-a-me (Kiss-a yourself!).  It was like “screw phonics – I’ll say it how I wanna say it.”

I remember your miniatures (how can I forget? they live in our playroom) and the 18 years you worked on that doll house.

I remember your love of sweets.  Dessert should come first so that you’re never too full.  You would spend $5 on gas to drive to another town to get a $1 ice cream cone.

I got from you my quick metabolism, my small lips, and my introspect.

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Grandma

I remember you the most, but I think that’s the nature of Grandmas.

I remember you could dress up a track suit like nobody’s business.  Just add a strand of beads and a pair of heels and you’re good.

I remember you were always singing or humming or air-piano-ing or dancing.  There was a soundtrack for every occasion.

I remember sleepovers.  Papa would stay in your bed and you and I would sleep on the pullout couch in the living room.  You’d make me warm milk.  Now that I’m a mom, I can probably guess that you were desperate for me to fall asleep.

I remember you trying to teach me to play the organ.  I failed, epically, but that wasn’t because of your lack of trying.  It was because I have a gimpy, useless left hand.

I remember the smell of lilac.  I can’t remember if you had lilac perfume or if you were allergic to it, but when I smell lilac, I think of you.

I remember you would let us wear your wigs.  You were never ashamed that you had to wear a wig and we could dress up in it when we asked.  They were the itchiest things I’ve ever touched.

I got from you my frizzy hair, my big feet, and the song in my heart.

***

Today, remember those who fought for us; remember those who are fighting.  Remember those who have made a difference in your life.  And because we don’t often get to while they’re here, honour them now by remembering the difference they made, even if they didn’t know they were making it.

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3 thoughts on “Remembering

  1. Your Grandma sounds like both of mine (minus the tracksuits, heels and wigs). I was lucky enough to have to incredibly loving and strong women as grandmas. I miss them greatly and only hope to be half the women they were.

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